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Hunt for a budget emerald: how to narrow down?

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
I'm trying to get a project off the ground: an emerald cut set E-W in a rose gold bezel ring to wear to work when my engagement ring is too showy, and I'd love some help finding a diamond!

I was super excited about this K/faint brown from JA but, lo and behold, the "deadness" under the table totally manifests in real life. I faux-bezeled it with aluminum foil and it looked completely depressing. So it'll be going back!

What I'd loved about it online was (1) the price and (2) the color -- well, I can barely even see the color (apparently not color-sensitive at all!) and the budget is about $2k but with some wiggle room if needed (as nice as spending only $890 on that K/brown diamond was!). I'd rather not go much below 4x6mm, though, or above 7x5.

I'd prefer a faint brown, but yellow is OK. I could definitely go lower in color, too!

Here are some potentials I found on JA, based on performance in the video:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.70-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1957392
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.80-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-sku-615239
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.90-carat-k-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-908237
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.92-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-684373
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.97-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-823956
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.04-carat-k-color-si1-clarity-sku-2107901
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.01-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1775208
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.07-carat-k-color-si1-clarity-sku-1871820

Happy for opinions if anyone's motivated to look through all those! There's quite a range of ct size, cost ($1500-2400), clarity, and even lab (included 3 IGI diamonds, which are probably not as discounted as they oughtta be for how tinted they look!). Some have small but likely eye-visible inclusions, but none of them so bad that I'd eliminate out of hand (no BIG black gunk under the table, for example). I just can't pick *one* based on the performance, balance of specs & price, etc. Or even a rank list to discuss with the gemologist & see which have ASETs available.

Or... any other suggestions? Warm -- probably down to a N/O would be OK -- with broad clarity requirements. I love fluoro (even yellow fluor would be fine, I've always wanted one!). I don't want to pay a ton for it, but I'm also not looking for a typical G/VS2 engagement ring diamond. :)
 

LawmaLlama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
376
Hi Evergreen, the problem may not be the stone you bought, rather the choice to bezel an EC. When you bezel an EC, you block alot of the light that goes into the EC around the crown, or perimeter area of the stone above the girdle. ECs dont sparkle like other shapes, they flash. The facets turning on and off as the light hits the stone.. By cutting off light in that area around the perimeter, you hinder the hall of mirrors effect that ECs are known for.

Are you dead set on a bezel?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,639
evergreen|1476241226|4085994 said:
I'm trying to get a project off the ground: an emerald cut set E-W in a rose gold bezel ring to wear to work when my engagement ring is too showy, and I'd love some help finding a diamond!

I was super excited about this K/faint brown from JA but, lo and behold, the "deadness" under the table totally manifests in real life. I faux-bezeled it with aluminum foil and it looked completely depressing. So it'll be going back!

What I'd loved about it online was (1) the price and (2) the color -- well, I can barely even see the color (apparently not color-sensitive at all!) and the budget is about $2k but with some wiggle room if needed (as nice as spending only $890 on that K/brown diamond was!). I'd rather not go much below 4x6mm, though, or above 7x5.

I'd prefer a faint brown, but yellow is OK. I could definitely go lower in color, too!

Here are some potentials I found on JA, based on performance in the video:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.70-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1957392Looks good
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.80-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-sku-615239may be ok
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.90-carat-k-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-908237block facet and too many off at the same time
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.92-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-684373so-so, block facet
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.97-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-823956so-so, block facet
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.04-carat-k-color-si1-clarity-sku-2107901no, big block facet
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.01-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1775208looks good
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.07-carat-k-color-si1-clarity-sku-1871820looks dead in center

Happy for opinions if anyone's motivated to look through all those! There's quite a range of ct size, cost ($1500-2400), clarity, and even lab (included 3 IGI diamonds, which are probably not as discounted as they oughtta be for how tinted they look!). Some have small but likely eye-visible inclusions, but none of them so bad that I'd eliminate out of hand (no BIG black gunk under the table, for example). I just can't pick *one* based on the performance, balance of specs & price, etc. Or even a rank list to discuss with the gemologist & see which have ASETs available.

Or... any other suggestions? Warm -- probably down to a N/O would be OK -- with broad clarity requirements. I love fluoro (even yellow fluor would be fine, I've always wanted one!). I don't want to pay a ton for it, but I'm also not looking for a typical G/VS2 engagement ring diamond. :)
So the 1.01 and the .7 are my favorite. The 1.01 is showing a lot of color but not sure if that is photog or what. The .7 is my favorite
but of course it would be the smallest one ;-) . It lights up like a hall of mirrors. Some facets are on while some are off (shows good
contrast). Does not look like it would be dead in the center.

The 1.01 is also pretty but I'm not seeing much mirroring in the N/S ends. They just sort of look "on" all the time. Center looks lively
and the stone is showing good contrast (except N/S ends).

That's my take on things!
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
Tyty, thanks for eyeballing all of those! The 1.01 K is an IGI diamond so it's probably a screaming example of when a "K" is not a K. Less of a problem for me although I don't think JA has discounted it as much as its "true" grade should be. Strong fluor, though who knows what color! Looking forward to when I can look back through all the stones and try to see what you see in the faceting patterns. Tremendously helpful, thanks!! :)

Kb1gra & Lawma, I have always loved the Sholdt bezels! And maybe that's a direction I should be considering, but I want to see for myself that there isn't an emerald that has good enough face up light return for a full bezel. That's why I think I need to order a comparison stone before returning the K/brown, which I know isn't good either in the box or a bezel. I know I've seen some bezeled emeralds around here somewhere... :think: and I'm thinking to bezel just the girdle and have an open pavilion, platform-style, which might rescue it.

One of my thoughts was, if the emerald shows a lot of camera obstruction in the JA videos, maybe it has very robust light return from a source directly above the table (IE where the camera is) and doesn't rely on light entering obliquely from the crown, so might be more amenable to a bezel. Does that make any sense, or just wishful thinking?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,639
Tyty, thanks for eyeballing all of those! The 1.01 K is an IGI diamond so it's probably a screaming example of when a "K" is not a K. Less of a problem for me although I don't think JA has discounted it as much as its "true" grade should be. Strong fluor, though who knows what color! Looking forward to when I can look back through all the stones and try to see what you see in the faceting patterns. Tremendously helpful, thanks!! :)
ah...I did not look at the certs but your probably right as far as why the color looks a bit off.

Edit...are you looking for something like this or E/W?
https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/tension/14k-white-gold-bezel-solitaire-engagement-ring-emerald-center-item-3257
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
621
tyty333|1476306250|4086343 said:
Tyty, thanks for eyeballing all of those! The 1.01 K is an IGI diamond so it's probably a screaming example of when a "K" is not a K. Less of a problem for me although I don't think JA has discounted it as much as its "true" grade should be. Strong fluor, though who knows what color! Looking forward to when I can look back through all the stones and try to see what you see in the faceting patterns. Tremendously helpful, thanks!! :)
ah...I did not look at the certs but your probably right as far as why the color looks a bit off.
Funny, I "got schooled" in another thread just a few days ago that IGI Mumbai is "just as good" as GIA.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,639

LawmaLlama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
376
I took a look at your list and of those I'd only consider the 1.01 K/VS2 - (not sure what to think of the IGI Mumbai cert on it though).

Of TyTy's list, I like the 2 that are .9 J and K colors. The others have clarity concerns. With ECs you have to be extra careful to ensure it is as eye clean as possible.
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
Lawma, thanks for those suggestions! Of those, I'm fascinated with the 0.85 J/SI1 with the interesting cut -- whoa, look at that high table! I'm really not too fussed about clarity, I'm happy to see an inclusion in my diamond when I look for it, though don't want a giant black booger reflecting around that I notice ALL the time when casually admiring the ring. I worry that the video performance of some of the others reminds me of the K/brown: kinda background-colored/grey stripes, instead of strong black & white reflections under the table like the IGI 1.01. What I found when comparing the K in the video with real life was that the grey stripes were actually leakage/windows down through the table, and now I know that kind of a cut isn't going to fly -- definitely not in a bezel, anyway, and I haven't given up on that idea! (I love bezels & generally hate prongs, always have. Guess this is an exploration into whether an emerald cut is compatible with my life!)

Tyty, totally agree that it's tough to tell with the different lighting but the 0.86 J is gorgeous! And the setting you posted is exactly what I'm looking for, except I want a split shank and a little less of a "flying saucer" bezel. :) It does come in E/W, and there is a nice example of an appropriately-sized emerald in a RG E/W bezel. Video screenshot below!

screen_shot_2016-10-12_at_6.png

I'm going to try to come up with a pretty extensive rank list & see which I can get ASETs on. Hoping that will help narrow it down!
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
OK, PS braintrust: I need your help! Had a long conversation with a JA gemologist, looked at a bunch of other stones as well, and we narrowed to 2 stones which had ASETs available (a compromise):

IGI 1.01ct K/VS2 strong fluorescence, $2100
They had an ASET already on file but the stone is in India and nobody can look at it to determine fluorescence color & rule out transparency issue :confused:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/1.01-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1775208
1775208aset.jpg

GIA 0.90ct J/VS2, $2350
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.90-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1847940
1847940aset.jpg

Thoughts?? My gut prefers the 0.90, since my setting plan means I'll block low-angle light (i.e., green) with the bezel, but then again, there looks to be a fair bit of leakage under the table in the 0.90. Maybe green, even bezeled, is better than leakage, which would push me towards the 1.01?

Also, can anyone help with this statement? The JA gemologist recommended avoiding stones with big blocks of black/obstruction, since THOSE lead to windowing when slightly tilted. But I'm not sure I agree that makes sense: for example, https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.92-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-684373 -- when it's slightly off-center, look at the E/W pavilion facets. They don't window, they switch to brightness/contrast & keep blinking on & off in a good way. I still like this one & think it's quite lively in the video, but he was concerned about the big block of blackness when viewed face-on. Can't get an ASET. :(

Would it be totally nuts to order two diamonds to compare?
 

LawmaLlama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
376
Based on the ASETs I'd go with the .9 JVS2. It has more red across the belly. The windowing could be that it is angled slightly off in the aset because it has X symmetry, but doesn't look so in the ASET.

The 1.01 Kvs2 doesnt have as nice an ASET. Still a nice stone but combined with the IGI Mumbai cert, I'd go ahead and nix it. It would need a stunning aset to overcome a lack of GIA cert or US IGI cert.

Your 3rd option is a no. Too much extinction. Ick. Plus it has a black crystal dead center of the table.

Are you going with a semi bezel? If you are still going with the full bezel be sure to look at the JA inspiration gallery so you can see how a full bezel will deaden an EC.
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
621
I think some of the cutting houses/suppliers may be closed for the holiday. I inquired with another vendor about another stone and they told me they likely couldn't call it in until next week.
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
I know I'm driving you crazy with this, Lawma, but I am set on a bezel. I'm not sure it's fair to say all ECs are dead in a bezel -- there have been some gorgeous ones on PS! Though I admit it's not an easy task like finding a good RB for bezeling. :)

Good eye on the tilt on the 0.90 -- it's helpful to interpret in that context. Lawma, do you think it has potential, or is it the less-bad of two mediocre options?

I'm struggling with the obstruction concept. What does an emerald with obstruction look like in person? I read the obstruction thread ([URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/obstruction.129821/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/obstruction.129821/[/URL]) but it mostly deals with rounds. Except for straight-on AND close-up, which is such an unusual way to view a diamond anyway, I'm having a hard time understanding how it translates in real life.

I think Serg explained it best, on the last page of that thread:
Contrast of diamond image is result interaction cut and light conditions. you can consider it as "Image contrast" = "Cut contrast"x"Light environment contrast"
if "Light environment contrast"= 0( for example white sphere ) "Image contrast" =0 for ANY cut
if "Cut contrast"=0( for example 90 degree prism),"Image contrast" =0 for ANY Light environment

best cut has special distribution of VF-cones , when closed( on cut space) VF's catch light from different places in light environment
In bad cut most VF's could catch light from same direction only ( most know example is strong head obscuration diamonds aka NailHead)
...so I guess the issue is that the virtual facet light cones aren't distributed enough around the lighting environment, so the diamond has a higher risk of looking "all-off" when the light is placed in a bad location? How often does that realistically happen on a dynamically-moving object like a hand?

I like the way the facets behave in the 0.92 in practically every table-up angle EXCEPT a couple head-on frames which show the obstruction. I wonder if it's something that would improve a lot at hand-distance (versus close-up camera-distance). Oh, and I'm not bothered about the inclusion, though I know lots of people would be!

Anybody else with feedback on those ASETs?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
The K actually has a great ASET and is equal to the other one.

The crown is very low. The J also has a low crown.
 

LawmaLlama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
376
Gypsy is right, neither has a bad aset. If I were to buy only one of the two I just prefer the .9 over the 1.01 because combined with a Mumbai cert and not getting a gemologist inspection you don't really know what you'll get.

Here's a good reference for aset images. Scroll all the way down to see ECS. I had trouble pasting it via my phone, so I typed it out.

Www.beyond4cs.com/2014/12/aset-reference-charts/
 

LawmaLlama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
376
The main site for the link above is beyond-4-cs (all one word without hyphens) then add a dot com
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
Gypsy, thanks for weighing in -- yeah, low crowns, unfortunately, but higher crowns can so hard to find (certainly have been during this odyssey!). Lawma's suggestion from upthread has a lovely high puffy crown but ultimately I decided I didn't love the aggressively-cut corners. Someone else may, though, so I'm glad she brought it up!

Lawma, thanks especially for sticking with this thread & the link to the (haha PS contraband!) ASET interpretation site. I found it really helpful!

I've ordered the 0.90 J and the 0.92 K. I know, obstruction in the K, but based on lots and lots of reading this morning I'm inclined to think that the proximity of the camera to the diamond in JA's photography setup tends to overemphasize obstruction that might ASET out partially red. (It's even more obvious with their ideal-cut rounds, for example, since we "know" what those should ASET like when they're AGS000).

For example, from this thread:

screen_shot_2016-10-14_at_13.png
(yikes)
versus
emerald1_1.jpg
(which is also obviously REALLY OBSTRUCTED but it isn't as horrible as the video)

And from this thread:

1_36_0.png
versus
1_349_0.jpg
(which I'm pretty sure is the diamond the OP went with, & he & his fiance were really happy with it -- meant to be a *positive* example. :) )

I think the 0.92 K is kind of intermediate between those two -- a lot more black than the latter example, but not so blocky and awful as the first example. Fundamentally, I can't get an ASET for the 0.92 K so I'll just have to use my eyes -- I love everything about it in the video except face-on towards the camera and I am really hopeful that the broken-up black lines will translate to a good amount of red interspersed with (somewhat less) blue in a hypothetical ASET. Karl's made the point before that red-trending-toward-blue in an ASET along the wide pavilion facets is desirable in a step cut, unlike a round.

So I'm going to take a chance on it. Should be educational, anyway, but I really do like the cut of that stone when it's not blacked out by the camera, and with a bezel I should be especially careful about green. I think. :) Hopefully ONE of these will prove to be a winner in person!
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
The diamonds are here!!! I have opinions!!

First, big props to diamondfinder for the instructions to approximate an ASET scope in this thread: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/diy-aset-and-ideal-scope.226126/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/diy-aset-and-ideal-scope.226126/[/URL] ... Yeah, it's not perfect, but there was no way I could've gotten an ASET ordered & shipped in time to evaluate these emeralds!

To give away the ending, I'm really happy with the 0.90 J/VS2 -- suggested by the JA gemologist! (I'm such a PS snob I didn't expect they would suggest a winner, but there you have it. Gonna have to stop being so judgy. :oops: :angel: )

(As a side note, at $2350 compared with my original K/faint brown at $890, I imagine JA is happy too despite covering the shipping for my disappointing K/br and the 0.92 K/VS2 loser of today's comparison.)

0.90 J/VS2:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.90-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1847940
imag2248.jpg

JA's ASET:
1847940aset.jpg

Images from my home-made scope:
imag2235.jpg
imag2246.jpg
(Which is more "truthy"? Who knows. This stuff is touchy & my scope is not perfect, nor is the angle on the diamond probably! Go with the one that looks more JA-like.) :)

Nonetheless, in the hand, the J/VS2 has great face-up light return, it's very lively, and it doesn't die in a bezel! Not that this is the best glamour shot -- intentionally with some mediocre diffuse lighting coming in from the windows at, like, 45-90 degrees from the table, and yes that is an awkward aluminum foil bezel, but:
imag2262.jpg

It also looks visibly larger than I'd expected it to on the hand -- measurements are 6.53 x 4.85mm. Like, actually, verging on "more impressive than I meant to pick for this project" but I'm sure I will get used to it. ;-)
imag2265.jpg
 

evergreen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
462
Just to give the experimental K/VS2 its due, I didn't find the obstruction bothersome -- in comparison with the J/VS2, it's not as impressive, but I think if I'd ordered it by itself I would have been fine with it.


No ASET was available from JA for this one, but the video suggested obstruction.
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/0.92-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-684373

My scope images:
imag2236.jpg
imag2242.jpg

I think it might be tilted in both of those. Tricky beastie. But kinda-red-kinda-blue is what I was mostly seeing.

I did catch some obstruction in "regular" pictures:
imag2267.jpg

And bezel performance was really pretty good:
imag2256.jpg

But on the hand, the K/VS2 (bottom) compared to the J/VS2 (top), it just wasn't as pretty!
imag2254_0.jpg

... and didn't look as big despite being only 0.25mm smaller in ONE dimension (K: 6.27 x 4.86 ... J: 6.53 x 4.85mm). I think the edges just don't perform as well.
imag2252.jpg

So there it is! I'll probably still spend a couple of days mulling it over -- there's a $500 difference between the two, and when one started off admiring & buying a $890 diamond and now is thinking about keeping a $2350 diamond... well, it's a harder decision to put your chips down on. :)
 

LawmaLlama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
376
Hi evergreen, glad to see you are pleased with the .9 jvs2. From your pics, it is the nicer of the two. :clap:

It is pretty funny how the budget happens to change the more rocks we look at!
 
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